Written by Chikondi Mphande /Zodiak
The High Court has sentenced a 20-year-old man to death for the gruesome murder of three people in Dedza district, central Malawi.
The court heard that on 10 October 2013 the convict, Dickson Elijah, used a pestle to assault his employers Kashoni and Alinafe Phiri while they were asleep in an attempt to acquire their money and property.
Their five-month-old baby died of starvation and severe dehydration after crying for hours when his parents were killed, according to a hospital postmortem.
Passing his verdict on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015, Justice Chifundo Kachale said what Elijah did was shocking hence his mitigation could not be considered.
“Life sentence is appropriate despite the fact that the offender is young because three innocent lives were lost,” Kachale told the court.
On 9 October 2013, Mr Phiri hired Elijah to help his wife Alinafe Phiri in her second hand cloths business.
According to his own confession, Elijah reckoned that working honestly was too slow a means to acquire his desired goals and he planned to kill his employers and take whatever he wanted in the house.
On the night of 10 October 2013, Elijah went into his boss’ bedroom with a pestle and hit in the couple in the head while they were asleep.
Dickson went ahead to steal K6500 cash, a TV screen, a DVD player, two power extension leads and two cell phones, among other items, according prosecutors.
The couple’s five-month-old baby, Delight, died of starvation and severe dehydration after crying for hours following the attack, police said.
Kashoni and his wife Alinafe were found in a decomposed state and autopsy results established that they died due to heavy bleeding and fractures at the base of the skull.
On 7 July 201, 5Elijah pleaded guilty to two charges of murder and one of manslaughter in connection with the death of the baby.
The convict has been given 90 days to appeal against the death sentences imposed on him by the court if he is not satisfied with the verdict.
He is, however, likely not to be hung as the Malawi government no longer enforces the death sentence, but commutes it to live in prison.